Preparing for work - practical steps

Following on from our last blog about preparing to return to work after a break, we’ve thought about some more practical steps you can take to maximise your chances of finding a brilliant new job if you’ve taken a few years out.  

Our next blog will discuss how to brush up your CV and the best way to explain your break but before we do that we’d like to let you know about a few things you can do to ease your way back into the workplace. 

Think about volunteering

Volunteering doesn’t always appeal – especially as so many of us are so short of time and money that working for free might be impossible. But if you have even an hour or two a week spare to give then volunteering can be extremely rewarding. Many charities and voluntary organisations are keen for motivated people to join them – you can revitalise your existing skills, perhaps pick up some new ones and make new friends, all while doing a bit of good. When it comes to searching for paid employment a spell of volunteering will show potential employers that you have initiative and you are prepared to give back to the community.  

Give temping a go

Temp jobs are always available through recruitment agencies – we have some great opportunities for temp workers - see for some examples. Working in temp roles while you search for something more permanent shows employers how keen you are to work. It can even lead to permanent employment – read our blog on the advantages of temping here.  

Dust off your networking skills

Look through your list of contacts to see if any of them might be able to help. If you are on good terms with any previous employers this is a great time to get in touch and let them know you are back in the jobs market. See if there are any networking groups in your area that might be useful and go along.  

Look for opportunities to update your skills. Some local authorities offer free training – check their websites and local libraries for information. There are often free courses for all kinds of skills available online – the Open University’s OpenLearning website is a great place to start  

Think about “unglamorous” sectors

If your last job was as a Sales Manager for a large company in the City you may assume that you should be applying in similar sectors. But don’t discount sectors such as industrial, engineering or food. All companies need to employ staff in a range of roles in order to succeed – you may be missing out if you automatically dismiss sectors that are not so appealing.  

Finally – stay positive

Looking for a job after a break can be demoralising but staying positive is really important. Find things that will help you keep your chin up and give yourself credit for each achievement, no matter how small. 

RecruitAbility has lots of experience helping people get back to work after a career break. Get in touch to see how we can help on 01279 758855. 

Posted on Monday Feb 4